By Matt Currie
Sharp Woman: Emmanuelle Chriqui
They say Hollywood is the land of beautiful people, which may or may not be true in real life. On Entourage, however, there are no shortage of them…
They say Hollywood is the land of beautiful people, which may or may not be true in real life. On Entourage, however, the HBO series chronicling the life of big-time actor Vinnie Chase and his posse of hangers-on, there are no shortage of them. In fact, you might say that the show’s parade of jaw-droppingly beautiful women is kind of a selling point. Emmanuelle Chriqui, the Canadian-born actress who plays Sloan McQuewick, the headstrong daughter of a Hollywood powerbroker, has been on Entourage since early on, simultaneously accounting for more than her share of the hottie quota and holding her own opposite Vinnie, his boys, and on occasion, Gary Busey. In preparation for the show’s seventh season, which begins later this month, we chat with Chriqui about celebrity, Canada and people who don’t find her sexy (because apparently they exist).
Do you feel like you’ve hung on to your Canadianness?
Yeah, definitely. I think just in the sheer fact that my family still lives there. And there really is a respect towards Canadian actors. When I was studying theatre, we learned a lot about the European playwrights and how they really are all about the arts in Europe. And I think that in Canada it’s very similar. And you see it. You see Canadian actors that come here and just do so well.
Talk about landing your breakthrough role on Entourage.
God, now let’s see, we’re shooting our seventh season, so I’ll say seven years ago (laughs), when it was pilot season, I just was really not into it and I said to my people, “Fine. If I’m gonna do a show, it’s gonna be for HBO.” And then, lo and behold, we get this audition for Entourage, but it was just for three episodes. And, you know, I remember Kevin [Connolly] had said to me, “Let’s really try to make this the best that it can be because it really could turn into something. And it did. Like, there’s always a possibility, but contractually it was just three episodes. So now that it’s like seven years later is mind-boggling to me.
Have you had any trouble dealing with the transition to celebrity?
I think because my journey has always been a slow and steady climb up, nothing ever felt like it happened overnight. I felt like I got to adjust accordingly. And I just happen to be a very private person. I just don’t see the need to be out there talking about personal things that have nothing to do with my work. I just find that it opens a can of worms that can potentially be quite unhealthy, because people stop seeing you as an actor and then start seeing you as just a personality, which doesn’t really serve you. In order to go into other film roles and other things and have people see me other than just Sloan, I think it serves me to be sort of quiet.
You’ve been making a lot of “hottest” and “most desirable” lists. What’s it mean to you to be a sex symbol?
Oh my god, it is so funny. You know, I made the mistake of reading some comments about these things…I mean, any excitement that I might have felt… (laughs)… it instantly grounded me. I was like, “Oh, wow, there are many that disagree…”
Really, people disagree?
You know, people are vicious. I think the thing to always understand in this business is there’s always going to be people that put you on a pedestal, and for every person, there’s gonna be ten more that try to knock you from that pedestal. That is just the nature of the beast. And so the truth is…it’s a beautiful compliment, but I feel like it’s just another part of the puzzle that, hopefully, has given me a bigger name and thus will get me better opportunities to work with great directors and great actors.